Friday, May 13, 2016

Movie review: The Godfather: Part II

Exploring the Corleone family roots, Don Vito's life from Sicily to crime boss in New York is revealed. At the same time a parallel storyline follows his son Michael, who is running things now that Vito is gone, as he expands into Cuba and deals with endless murder and betrayal.

Al Pacino (Michael), Robert Duvall (Tom), Diane Keaton (Kay), Robert De Niro (Vito), John Cazale (Fredo), Talia Shire (Connie), Lee Strasberg (Roth), Michael Gazzo (Pentangeli), G.D. Spradlin (Sen. Geary), Gastone Moschin (Fanucci), James Caan (Sonny).

Vito is gone and Michael is running the show; into Las Vegas, Hollywood, and now Cuba. The Godfather: Part II takes a step back, showing us how Vito grew up in Sicily and eventually came to New York establishing a large crime syndicate. The film also takes a step forward, following along as Michael works expanding the family business into other areas while dealing with marital problems, betrayal, and of course murder.

Acting was once again quite good with Pacino doing an excellent job with his role. Duvall was solid and enjoyable as always. Cazale did pretty good with a rough role, as did Gazzo. The remainder of the supporting cast delivered nicely and were enjoyable to watch.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were well done with an authentic feel throughout, sometimes even feeling larger than life. Dialogue was pleasant with nice depth and plot movement. Sound and soundtrack were very nice.

Overall The Godfather: Part II continues the story begun by the first film, with a similar feel and tone that truly make this feel like an extension rather than a separate film. Fans of the first film, or the genre, should enjoy this one. Pacino fans should enjoy this opportunity to see the actor when he was much younger.

With some sexuality including partial and brief nudity, plenty of violence, gore, and foul language, this should be fine for older teens and above.

Released: 1974
Reviewed: 5.2.16
Star rating: 4 out of 5
Genre: Crime Drama, Mobster films, Classics, Period Pieces, Movies based on books

copyright ©2016 Dave Riedel

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